Monday, January 31, 2011

Thanks, Dude

An open letter to the guy (and yes, I am fairly sure this individual must have a Y chromosome) who named his ePlush creature after female genitalia with an extraneous H thrown in to avoid the filters:

Thanks a bunch, dude.  You would have to ruin it for the rest of us.  I realize we had some edgy and possibly not kid-friendly names for our animals, but come on.  Did you REALLY think you could get away with it?  Now they will not list anyone's names on the scoreboards, so how can a person tell how she did on a game?  I liked seeing Hyperbad win, and Tetracide, and yes even hUBIE Sukxs, and of course Thanatos 2U, but how many people on ePlush know the Greek word for death?  However, I am sure we are all familiar with the V-word.  Dude!!  If you really had to name your animal after that, at least have the decency to NOT WIN THE TOURNAMENT!!  I doubt that it was a coincidence that your creature's name was plastered all over the board one day, and the next day nobody's name would show up.  Now I will never get to laugh because someone came up with a name as clever as Sunday Dinner the Chicken, all because you thought you were being clever.  Clever is not the same thing as vulgar.

Famous Hat

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Port Party (Red AND White)

Here are some photos I took of Tiffy's ultra-cool "infinity" candle holder.  It just looks like an aquarium with a row of candles in it until you light it... and then look at it!

Candles to infinity!  (And beyond, to quote Buzz Lightyear.)  Here I took a close-up shot of it, and you can see my camera reflected in it, as if it were sitting atop a pyramid of candles:

And this is a distance shot to show the cool shadows it casts.  Tiffy has some tall dracaenae, and their shadows look like palm trees on the ceiling.  Check it out.

That was last Saturday.  Today I met Anna Banana II, Jilly Moose, and OK Cap at a diner for breakfast, and then we went to a nearby winery for their big port celebration.  We tasted lots of wines, and the white port was AMAZING, but it was also $22 per bottle.  For $23 I got a bottle of beaujolais (is that like French for "beautiful pretty"?), a bottle of white riesling, and a bottle of their signature white wine.  We took the free tour, and I was amused to find out that apparently at a winery, red tape actually helps make things more efficient.  Don't believe me?  Check out this sign:

Afterwards we returned to the diner, since our cars were parked there (OK Cap was so kind as to drive to the winery), and we had some Packer Pie!!  Yum!  It was lemon and lime silk pie in layers, pretty AND delicious!

Famous Hat

Friday, January 28, 2011

What Up?

So I know this woman who says that the first thing men tell her is: “We’ll never be more than friends.” What up? The only guy who ever told me that was someone I had been friends with for years, and we were sitting on his bed talking after I had gone through a bad breakup, so I can see where maybe he was afraid I was looking at him as a rebound relationship. But to have someone you just met say that??? My reply would be: “I wasn’t thinking anything so serious. How about we just remain acquaintances?”

This morning I went to recycle some coffee, and two other coworkers were having a meeting in the bathroom. What up? I mean, there is no room in there. But I started thinking that, in this time of extreme budget cuts, maybe they will begin using the restrooms as conference rooms. I can just imagine the online reservation form:

What room would you like to reserve? The following are available:

Trainey Conference Room. Seats 25. Amenities: wi-fi, projector.
Closetlike Conference Room. Seats 8. Amenities: table.
Lavatory Conference Room. Seats 2. Amenities: running water.

So in Egypt they are going crazy because they are “following Tunisia’s lead.” What up? I kind of don’t remember them going so crazy in Tunisia that they were burning down politicians’ offices. If Egypt's president was at all intelligent, he would skedaddle like the dude from Tunisia did, but where can you go and not be ceaselessly mocked when your first name is Hosni? Not my hometown of Rooster, that’s for darn sure! His nickname would be “Hoser” before he had gotten his forwarding address changed.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Richard Bonomo Coat of Arms

As promised, here is Richard Bonomo's Coat of Arms.  A petard is an explosive device set against the gate of a castle to destroy it, and "semper ventosus" means "always windy."

Famous Hat

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

After the Game

Looks like Cutler is not just a sore loser but an unfashionable one:

Sorry, I have no idea who to give credit for this photo - I just got it via email from Tiffy.  Now if I were Lovey Smith - which clearly I am not - I would have watched how the line was protecting the third-string quarterback and letting him get stuff done, exactly the way they did NOT have Cutler's back, and I would think it might be time to make some changes.  Being quarterback involves more than having a great throwing arm, and Cutler does not appear to have the respect of his teammates.

However, I think Lovey may have gone too far when he announced the Bears are getting a new starting quarterback:

Just kidding, Bears fans.  Don't have a heart attack!  Just a hilarious email I got from Toque McToque, and again I do not know who to credit for the photo.  BOO BRETT!!!!  We're going to the Super Bowl without you, man!!

Famous Hat

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Great-Aunt Sister Mary Victor

Right now I am at Tiffy's house, waiting for the game to start (you know, THE GAME), but it is 45 minutes until kickoff so I am blogging about her Great-Aunt Sister Mary Victor.  As you may have guessed, this particular relative of hers was a religious sister, and in fact a sister in a teaching order.  She had another sister who was also a sister and was very quiet and demure, but Sister Mary Victor could give as good as she got.  One of her students once told her to go to Hell, and she replied, "You run your own errands!"

Tiffy's personal experience with Great-Aunt Sister Mary Victor's raucous sense of humor was when she was a little girl and wondered about a painting in her grandparents' house.  It was a painting of a mill with a water wheel, and she wondered why the water was brown instead of blue, like in most paintings.  Without missing a beat, Great-Aunt Sister Mary Victor said, "It's because of all the little kids swimming in it."  Hah!  Last night as we were eating at an Italian restaurant that used to be referred to as Emphysema's before the state-wide smoking ban, Tiffy said if she were ever a nun, that's the kind of nun she would be, and I agreed.

Gotta go - gotta see the Packers slaughter the Bears!  GO PACK!!!!

Famous Hat

Friday, January 21, 2011

Word Origins: TEDIOUS

As a professionally trained linguist (or at least a graduate-school dropout), I feel it is my duty to let people know where words come from.  Also, I was going to create a really awesome family crest for Rich this afternoon, since it was a quiet Friday, but then I got a project to work on that was not difficult but very tedious.  This means I do not have a coat of arms to put on the blog right now (watch for it on future posts), but as I was working, I thought about the word "tedious."  It may appear to be a Latin word borrowed via French, and that's what they will tell you online, but I have discovered the truth:  it is an acronym.

Check it out:

TDS = Totally Dumb $hi+.

Famous Hat

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winchester Caroler Still Missing!

Banjo Player sent me the following article from one of her hometown papers, Wicked Local Winchester, and says, "Misleading headline of the week."  No kidding - did you imagine some young lady who went caroling with some friends had mysteriously disappeared and has yet to be found?  Are you wondering why this didn't make the national news?  Then you are not alone!  Those were my exact thoughts... until I read the Wicked Local Winchester article:

Winchester Caroler Still Missing

According to the Winchester Rotary Club, one of its carolers disappeared over Thanksgiving weekend and has not been found in spite of the good efforts of the Winchester Police Department. These figurines are expensive to replace and the Rotary Club believes the townspeople enjoy this annual display on the Quill Rotary each year. The caroler is blong, stand 56" high and has a yellow and white shawl. (She stands to the far right in this picture from last year.) The caroler can be returned by leaving her outside the Parish of the Epiphany Church at 70 Church Street, no questions asked, or send a note to the Rotary Club, P.O. Box 288 and club members will pick her up.

And here is the photo.  Sorry for the poor quality, but you get the idea.

I know you are probably thinking to yourself, "What is blong, is that a blond who blogs?  Would Famous Hat be a blong?  Wouldn't 'Blong' have been a great name for this blog if she had thought of it back when she had to come up with a name?  Or was the person who wrote this smoking a blong?"  How do I know?  Because that is exactly what I thought.  Now you can see why this story is WICKED LOCAL - do we as a nation care about a missing figurine of a caroler, even if she would be expensive to replace?  Perhaps what we should be concerned about is what the person who stole her is doing with her.  Today, caroling figurines... what if he moves on to actual carolers tomorrow??  As a living, breathing blong who has been known to go caroling and has no idea how close to my house Winchester is, I can barely keep a straight face while reading this story.  Remember, the blong figurine stand 56" high, which is almost as tall as I stands.  Almost.

Mad props to the Winchester Police Department for their good efforts.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Palm Tree Fan's Caribbean Cruise

Here are some photos from Palm Tree Fan's recent Caribbean cruise.  Since I will not be going to the tropics this winter, I will have to enjoy her trip vicariously... and now you can too!  These pictures are from St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau.

And what photo depiction of a tropical vacation would be complete without at least one close-up of a palm tree?

And of course we must have at least one tropical sunset.  How about two?

Thanks, Palm Tree Fan, for sharing all these great pictures!  It's almost like we're there... well, kind of.  OK, not really, but they still are a lot of fun to look at!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Truth in Advertising

Banjo Player sent me the following article.  She says, "You can't make this stuff up!"

A Carmel-based candy company is recalling its Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge chew bars after California public health authorities say they found the treats contained double the minimum levels of lead.

You can find the entire article here.

On the theme of advertising, she also saw the Paratrooper Twinkies ad on the SyFy (or however they are spelling it these days) channel, but it is actually for Little Debbie Snack Cakes.  You can see it here.  Banjo Player notes: "The weird thing is that it STILL looks totally digitally enhanced, so I still can't figure out why they filmed it on the streets of LA (and about 10 other places judging from the commercial...) Would have been kinder to bus passengers such as myself to have done it entirely virtually."

Thanks, Banjo Player, for keeping us updated on the paratrooper snack cake commercial!

Famous Hat

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Identity Crisis Worsening

I've got a Yiddish nose

And I've got some mermaid toes
But just who AM I??
Nobody knows!

As you may remember from this post, my Archirritant informed me that I am not Irish Catholic.  But it gets worse, because a couple of days ago Hardingfele sent me an article about how a man allegedly named "Parke Kunkle" has said the signs of the zodiac have shifted, so I am now a Sagittarius just like she is.  (You can read the shocking article here.)  What???  I'm not a Capricorn anymore?  So now what am I supposed to do with this?

I mean, what would a Sagittarius do with a marble seagoat statue?  I would prefer a sign that is easier to spell, thank you very much.  Kathbert is furious because "Parke Kunkle" made Virgo a month and a half long, so she is no longer a Libra.  "It's not fair!" she says.  And Luxuli was horrified to find out that she and her husband are no longer both Pisces, since he got booted back to Aquarius.  And Rich the uber-Aquarius is now a Capricorn??  Maybe I should give him my marble statue.  And now I have to go from hating Virgo men to Leo ones, although Tiffy may be happy to learn that she is now a Leo. Light Bright, however, is still a Virgo - I should have known none of this would affect her.  "I'm solid," she says.

Here is what I propose:  that all state workers buy a lottery ticket once a week, and then there won't be a budget crisis and we won't need even more furlough.  Come on, it's cheaper than a fake coffee at Starsucks.  And here is what else I propose:  as long as they are changing all our signs on us anyway, change what they are too.  I would have no problem being Sagittarius the Llama.  And come on, now there's some stupid 13th sign of the zodiac which is a guy wrestling a snake?  What, making people be eternal virgins and named after deadly diseases wasn't enough for you, "Parke Kunkle"?  So here is the new Zodiac I am proposing:

December 17 - January 20:  Llolita the Llama
January 21 - February 16:  Bonomo the Enginerd
February 17 - March 11:  Lentbirthdaysbite the Pissed-Off Penitant
March 12 - April 18:  Frank the Tax Accountant
April 19 - May 13:  Lily the Flower
May 14 - June 21:  Yancy the Yacht
June 22 - July 20:  Coco the Coconut-Scented Sunscreen Bottle
July 21 - August 10:  Casa del Lago the Lake House
August 11 - September 16:  Emptor the Back-to-School Sale Shopper
September 17 - October 30:  Sigma the Unusually Long Sign
November 1 - November 23:  Toque McToque the Canadian Winter Hat
November 24 - November 29:  Cinco Dias the Five-Day Sign
November 30 - December 16:  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

See?  No more hurt feelings because some people are awesome signs and some are lame ones.  They are all equally random under my system.  And since we all have to adjust to our new signs anyway, it's the perfect time to introduce new ones.

And finally, as promised, how to acquire a Cuddly Rosary:  contact me.  They cost $20 and are handmade in this country by another former Capricorn, my mother.  Here is a picture of my rosary, and at some point I am going to make a catchy ad, but for some reason Rich did not think klezmer music was the best background for my rosary ad.  So I am still working on it.

Famous Hat

Saturday, January 15, 2011

National Hat Day!!!

I don't know how I, Famous Hat, could have been unaware of National Hat Day for all this time, but it only came to my attention yesterday (thanks, Cakewrecks blog!) that January 15 is National Hat Day.  In my dotage I have given up some of my crazier hats, like my Jughead hat and my Mad Hatter hat, but I still have quite a collection.  (And yes, I do find occasions to wear them all.)

First of course is my Famous Hat, which someone gave me after Mass one day years ago.  She had gotten it from another friend, who had gotten it from someone else.  Apparently nobody wanted Famous Hat!  I think it is a great summer hat.  (It didn't come with the flower; I added that.)

Here is another summer hat, one of the oldest hats I have - and it is reversible!

And here it is reversed.  It's like two hats in one!

Here is the hat I have had for the absolute longest, since I was a little kid.  I remember wearing it in third grade when I dressed up as an artist for Halloween.  No idea where it originally came from.

Here is another beret; this one I got in college at a used clothing store, and it supposedly belonged to a German soldier.  It even says "Schubert" inside of it, written in marker.

I used to have a black beret too, which I got in the Basque area of Spain the summer I lived there, but one winter I lost it.  I looked everywhere for it, including the health food store.  They didn't have it in their Lost and Found, but they did have this beautiful purple velvet bucket hat.  When I said how lovely it was, the guy said, "Do you want it?  It's been here for a year."  I added the fleur-de-lis pin, which I got in New Orleans.

This is the hat I wear now that it is so cold, my genuine Scottish tam made of mohair.  Alas, I have never been to Scotland; I got this at Cornish Fest in a small town not too far from home.

And I have never been to Ireland either, but this linen Easter bonnet was supposedly handmade in Ireland by a woman named Mary.  I got it at an Irish store in Chicago.

Speaking of Irish... OK, this hat has no real connection to Ireland other than its color.  I bought it at a hat store downtown, and the pin (which used to light up) is from a former coworker.

If you can stand it, one more Irish connection:  I got this flapper-style hat at Irishfest.

I got this paisley velvet hat at another festival, Summerfest.  But it's more of a spring or fall hat.

I got this mortarboard from my alma mater when I graduated.  They also gave me a piece of paper, but not at the actual graduation ceremony; it came in the mail later.

This bucket hat didn't actually come from my alma mater, despite the big W on it.  I got it for signing up for a credit card.

Here is another hat of the same type, which Bella Maryella left me when she went off to become a nun in New York City.  She also left me an electric mandolin and a hedgehog.  This hat is so beat-up looking because I wear it at the swimming pool.

This is a winter hat I have had since college.  It used to be more derby-shaped, but now I think it makes me look kind of like Mushmouth from "Fat Albert."

I got this hat at our minor league baseball team's game when they were dressed in old-fashioned uniforms.  It is supposed to look like the hats they would have worn at the turn of the previous century.  Then, at a later game, I got all the team members to sign it.

I bought the Seafoam Chinese Rice Paddy Hat up by the Apostle Islands, when we were visiting Tiffy's parents one Labor Day weekend.  I needed a hat for boating that was waterproof, wide enough to keep the sun off my face, and could be tied on so it wouldn't blow off.  This hat fit the bill perfectly.

Technically this isn't a hat, but Rockstar Tailor was decorating and selling styrofoam visors last summer, so I bought one from her.

And this is what it looks like when you wear a cuddly rosary as a hat.  Now you may be asking yourself, "How do I get a cuddly rosary?"  Stay tuned!  I will address this burning question in a subsequent post.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Smackdown Stream of Conscience

Last night was very snowy, so I decided not to attend an astronomy talk with Rich on his side of town, although it did sound interesting. He also wanted to grab dinner at a fast food restaurant, which may be a selling point in his world, but is not much of one in mine. Instead I stayed home and had a substitute slow food meal.

Hamburger on white bread bun – I substituted sandwich of homemade bread with artisan cheese

French fries – I substituted roasted pumpkin seeds

Chocolate shake – I substituted a pumpkin smoothie

And what has that got to do with the title of this post? Nothing, but this post will have something to do with the title of the post, as soon as I tell you that one of our trainees is a Horny Toad or whatever you call a TCU alum, and she was watching the Rose Bowl with another trainee who was not amused when she wore her Horny Toad shirt. When I told Toque McToque this story, she said good thing the Texas trainee didn’t get beaten up, and I said she could totally take the other trainee, but Sock Puppet could take her, and our really crazy coworker Snowflake could take them all down.

“How many people were at this Rose Bowl party?” Toque asked in astonishment, and I realized she thought I meant Sock Puppet and Snowflake were there as well. So then I had to explain that they weren’t at this party at all, I was just thinking of who could take down whom in a Smackdown Stream of Conscience.

Famous Hat

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Ultimate Cry Room

Our peripatetic Banjo Player was most recently in Carolina - which one? you might ask and I might answer "both" - and she sent me two pictures of the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville, NC.  She notes that it is "small as basilicas go, but very pretty inside. It has an unusual artistic feature which is the use of ceramics all over," and she adds that the architect is buried in a crypt in the front.  Here is a photo showing the ceramics.

And here is what she says about the second photo:  "The attached is the priceless picture of the door to the choir loft - the ultimate cry room!"  I totally think we need this door for the choir loft at my church!  Not that I'm saying we have any crybabies in our choir....

Famous Hat

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Spiritual Triathlon

If you want to compete in a triathlon, you don't start out by attempting to do the Iron Man.  First you train, then you do a baby triathlon, and perhaps in time you will reach the point of being able to do the Iron Man.  It is the same way with the spiritual life:  people are always suddenly deciding to do some hardcore spiritual exercise before becoming spiritually fit, and then they fail and think, I can't do this!  Not everyone can - or should - do a spiritual Iron Man, but anyone can do a baby spiritual triathlon after some training.  Here is a guide to get you started.

Prayer:  There is probably no better prayer than the daily Rosary, but if you are starting from zero, spending half an hour every day meditating on the life of Our Lord might sound overwhelming.  If so, here is a short chaplet you can do every night:  the Salisbury Chaplet.  I came up with this when trying to figure out what to do with an odd chaplet, and Kathbert suggested a short, charming prayer from the Sarum Primer.  (Why is "Sarum" Latin for Salisbury?  Who knows?  No wonder the language is dead!)  Just kidding, I love Latin, but Salisbury Chaplet sounds catchier than Sarum Chaplet.  It is actually an ancient Celtic prayer that is very simple.  So here is how you do it:

Start with an Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
God be in my head and in my understanding (Hail Mary, Glory Be)
God be in my eyes and in my looking (Hail Mary, Glory Be)
God be in my ears and in my listening (Hail Mary, Glory Be)
God be in my mouth and in my speaking (Hail Mary, Glory Be)
God be in my heart and in my thinking (Hail Mary, Glory Be)
God be at my end and my departing (Hail Mary, Glory Be)

The Salisbury Chaplet is very powerful; it will not make you rich or cure cancer, but if you invite God into your life every night, He will accept your invitation.  If you are Protestant like Kathbert, you can just pray the prayer without the Hail Marys and Glory Bes.  You can even leave off the line about God being in your ears, which Kathbert and I added to the original.  Just a word of warning:  God WILL accept your invitation, so don't pray it unless you mean it.  Kathbert and I have been doing this prayer every night and we are amazed at how powerful it is.  (She just does the prayer, of course, not the chaplet.)

Fasting:  You should probably not dive into fasting by living on bread and water every Wednesday and Friday.  In fact, fasting does not have to involve food at all.  You can give up anything you enjoy, like TV or computer games or sudoku.  If you have not tried fasting, give it a try for a short amount of time, like a week.  It is amazing how good it makes you feel.  Remember, fasting is NOT a diet plan or a way to wean yourself off of bad habits like gossiping.  I understand, trash talking other people is fun, but it is a behavior we should be working to eradicate entirely so it is not fasting to give up gossiping.

Almsgiving:  If you are new to almsgiving, you might not want to start by selling all your possessions and giving your money to the poor, because unless you are joining a religious order, you will just end up one of the poor yourself.  However, most of us probably have more than we need, and it is a very good idea to give up some luxury in your life and give the money to charity.  Do you buy coffee at the coffee shop every day?  Make it at home instead and sponsor a child in a Third World Country.  Do you go out to eat too often?  Bring your lunch to work and give the money you save to a reputable charity.

Of course God is probably calling you to greater sacrifices, but better to start small and work your way up than to jump right in and then get discouraged.  If you are doing a triathlon and crash in the middle, they call that "hitting the wall."  Instead of hitting a spiritual wall, start training at a reasonable level.  If you pray the Salisbury Chaplet at night, give up TV or computer games for a week, and resolve to donate a small amount to charity instead of spending it on luxuries, soon you will find yourself ready to progress further in the spiritual life.

And remember, everyone who completes a spiritual triathlon is a winner.

Famous Hat

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finkelstein and Jesus: The Light Bright Version

Sorry for the lack of posting - I was at home with a miserable cold I may have caught from Tiffy, or from Anna Banana II, or some other source.  So instead of blogging, I was busy sneezing and coughing and admiring my mermaid toes.  My brain is still a little fuzzy, so I am just going to post a joke Hardingfele sent to me and Light Bright's reaction to it.  First, the original story:

Finkelstein and Jesus

Jesus was wandering around Jerusalem when he decided that he really needed a new robe.  After looking around for a while, he saw a sign for Finkelstein, the Tailor. So, he went in and made the necessary arrangements to have Finkelstein prepare a new robe for him. A few days later, when the robe was finished, Jesus tried it on -- and it was a perfect fit!  He asked how much he owed.

Finkelstein brushed him off: "No, no, no, for the Son of God there's no charge!  However, may I ask for a small favor. Whenever you give a sermon, perhaps you could just mention that your nice new robe was made by Finkelstein, the Tailor?"

Jesus readily agreed and as promised, extolled the virtues of his Finkelstein robe whenever he spoke to the masses.

A few months later, while Jesus was again walking through Jerusalem , he happened to walk past Finkelstein's shop and noted a huge line of people waiting for Finkelstein's robes.  He pushed his way through the crowd to speak to him and as soon as Finkelstein spotted him he said: "Jesus, Jesus, look what you've done for my business! Would you consider a partnership?"

"Certainly," replied Jesus.  "Jesus & Finkelstein it is."

"Oh, no, no," said Finkelstein.  "Finkelstein & Jesus.  After all, I am the craftsman."

The two of them debated this for some time.  Their discussion was long and spirited [pun intended, I assume - FH], but ultimately fruitful -- and they finally came up with a mutually acceptable compromise. A few days later, the new sign went up over Finkelstein's shop:

Pretty good joke, right?  But Light Bright was confused and wondered what it had to do with Frankenstein.  So here is how it would go in her version:
Frankenstein and Jesus
Frankenstein and Jesus sat in a bar, commiserating over beer about how the people they created just do not appreciate them. 
"At least the monster you created doesn't doubt your existence!" said Jesus.
"At least the people you created don't have green skin!" said Frankenstein.  "Ah, they're all a bunch of ingrates."
"I'll drink to that!" said Jesus.
OK, so the original version is way funnier, but I am still recovering from that cold.
Famous Hat

Monday, January 3, 2011

Birthday Post

This is my birthday post!
It smells like burning toast!
Not that I mean to boast,
But you will like it most!

No, I haven't had anything to drink today.  Why do you ask?  However, that wasn't true of the whole weekend.  New Year's Eve I had eggnog, wine, AND Bailey's (yes, we finally found it), but all my peeps were tired and wanted to go to bed before midnight... except Hardingfele, but how would I have guessed that?  She is usually in bed by nine.  So I went to welcome in 2011 at the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel with Our Lord and approximately six million other people.  Who knew that was the happeningest party in town??  Tiffy wasn't there because she had a cold, but New Year's Day she felt well enough to come to town and watch our alma mater's team lose the Rose Bowl with Hardingfele and me.  Yes, more booze, not only what we ordered but FREE BEER with each touchdown!  Since the Badgers' offense wasn't that offensive, we really didn't get much beer.  Still, it was free.

Yesterday I indulged in something I rarely do and watched TV:  first DVDs of Monty Python's Flying Circus before a much smaller party than my extravaganza last year (please don't be offended if I did not invite you; I hardly invited anyone else either), and then The Simpsons and The Family Guy afterwards.  And of course the Pack beat da Bears!  Oh yeah!  There was one Bears fan in the room so we had to give her a little grief, but it really didn't matter too much to the Bears to lose.  Luckily there were no Giants fans in the room, since they were the ones who really got hurt by the Packers' win and will not get to go to the playoffs despite a pretty decent record this season.

Hardingfele gave me two ePlush:  a reindeer I named Tetracide and a hamster I named Hyperbad.  Tiffy gave me a beautiful pendant made out of a butterfly wing, and Luxuli gave me a pale green rosary bracelet from Santiago de Compostela.  Rich gave me Yak Trax (actually a few weeks ago), and I don't usually endorse things on my blog, but Yak Trax totally rock!!!  And nobody paid me to say that either;  I simply consider them a necessity in this awful climate and wonder how I survived so many winters without them.  Jilly Moose made me a birthday card herself.  Rich made chicken breast a la parmesan and Black Magic cake with chocolate rum frosting, and Luxuli made a spinach salad with some of the pears from the Post-Chanukah Package.  Delicious!

Today Tiffy and I went to the Fake Irish Pub for lunch, and I regret to report that they have not instituted a single one of the changes I recommended at my last visit.  For example, the ketchup Tiffy used was just old skool red, not noo skool silver.  She offered to buy me lunch, but since it was a two-for-one fish and chips day and I got a free dessert, she only had to spring for a cup of what our waiter called "clam chowdah."  (Sorry, dude, that's not an Irish accent, it's a Boston one.)  She told me my dessert was called a "Bidet Sunday," and I said oh man, where was Rich? he LOVES bidets and Sunday! - but she meant a B-Day Sundae.  Then we went to the spa and got facials, hot rock massages, and pedicures.  Now my toenails are a color I would call "teal" but the bottle of polish was marked "Catch Me In Your Net," and Tiffy's toenails are now "Jade Is the New Black."  Of course, nobody will see my teal toes under my thick socks, boots, and Yak Trax.  Still, it was a WONDERFUL birthday.

Famous Hat